It takes a lot of hard work to make any Instagram account a success and become an influencer. But you can reduce much of your stress by taking the simple action of scheduling your Instagram posts in advance.
Let’s explore how that works and how to schedule posts on Instagram, step by step.
Why Should You Schedule Your Instagram Posts?
Creating a posting schedule for your Instagram posts may seem like an extra step that would take up more time during your day, rather than streamline your work. But if you think about it more deeply, you’ll see that scheduling provides several important benefits.
Benefit #1: Relieves The Stress of Posting at The Right Time
First, it takes the pressure off you as the content creator to always have to publish your posts by a certain date and time of day. It’s already set up in your queue days, sometimes even weeks or months ahead of time. Once it’s scheduled, you don’t even have to think about it anymore.
Benefit #2: Gives You a Backlog of Posts For When You Can’t Post Manually
Second, a schedule is invaluable for emergency situations or vacations during which you’re not able to create new content. It gives you a backlog of posts that are ready to go, which will help you maintain your presence on the platform.
Benefit #3: Helps You Post Consistently and Grow Your Account
Finally, scheduling your posts helps you stay consistent and publish on a regular schedule. This will help you grow your account, as the more consistently you post, the better the chances are that Instagram will push your content out to more people on the platform.
Step-By-Step Guide To Scheduling Posts On Instagram
Instagram makes scheduling your posts simple by providing a native scheduler on the app that’s free to use. Alternatively, you can use Meta Business Suite or a third-party social media management platform (please note that the latter tends to cost a monthly subscription fee, while Instagram and Meta Business Suite are free).
Keep in mind, though, that you must have either a creator or a business account to use the built-in scheduler on Instagram. You can’t use your personal account.
Here are the steps for scheduling a post using the Instagram app.
For Android Devices:
For iOS Devices:
How To View Posts After You Scheduled Them
What happens if you schedule a post and then decide later that you want to publish it right away, change the date, or remove it from your roster? Don’t worry, you have the option to edit them if you need to.
To View The Instagram Posts You’ve Scheduled and Make Changes To Them, Follow These Instructions (Which Work For Both Android and iOS Devices).
How To Pick The Perfect Instagram Post Schedule
Knowing how to schedule your posts on Instagram is important, but before you can make a schedule, you have to know what you want it to look like.
There’s not a single Instagram post schedule that is perfect for every creator. Some post daily, others every other day, and some only once or twice a week.
But in general, if your goal is to build your following and become an influencer as quickly as possible, you should probably post at least a few times a week, if not once a day. Don’t publish a regular post or Reel more than once or twice a day, however. Otherwise, you’ll overload the algorithm and possibly even get flagged for spam activity.
Here are some other factors to consider when you’re setting up the perfect posting schedule for your Instagram account.
It’s fine to say that you’re going to post every day, but that may simply not be feasible in the long term. You may not have enough time to create as much content as you would need to fill up all 30 or 31 days of your calendar.
And that’s okay! It’s better to be realistic and settle for a less frequent schedule than burn yourself out.
Another factor to consider is budget. Let’s say you have plenty of time to create content, but a small budget. That may limit you to certain filming locations, video equipment, and wardrobe options, which could, in turn, limit the number of posts you can create.
If budget is a concern, focus on creating high quality posts, and then build a calendar that spreads out your content while still publishing it on a regular schedule.
3. Account Goals
We mentioned earlier that if your goal is to grow your account fast, then it’s smart to post as often as you can without going overboard.
But what if you already have a large following and are content with the reach of your account? In that case, you may be able to slow down slightly on posting, if you want to, because your goal is no longer growth, but maintenance.
That’s why your account goals should be one of the factors that guides you to your perfect schedule.
When To Schedule Your Instagram Posts
Now that you know what you want your schedule to look like and how frequently you want to upload new posts, it’s time to figure out the times (no pun intended).
This isn’t a decision to make lightly. Timing is extremely important for helping you get the most views and engagement.
For example, publishing your posts at random times throughout the week isn’t a great strategy because there are certain times of the day that your audience is more likely to be logged into the platform.
Perhaps the majority of your audience checks Instagram while they’re on their lunch break, around noon to 2 PM. But if you schedule your posts for 3 AM, when no one is on, then you probably won’t get as many interactions. This will hurt your account and your engagement rate.
We recommend navigating to the menu on your Instagram profile and tapping on Insights to see when your Instagram audience is most active. This action will help you determine the best time to post.
How Far in Advance To Schedule Posts
With the frequency of your schedule and the dates and times you want to post squared away, there’s only one thing left to cover. And that is, how far in advance to schedule your posts.
Instagram lets you schedule your posts 75 days in advance. It also allows you to schedule up to 25 posts per day.
Theoretically, then, you can ensure that you’re always over two months ahead in posting on your Instagram account.
However, you may not want to be quite that far ahead for all your posts. Instead, you may want to have a month or perhaps only two or three weeks’ worth of content scheduled at any given time. This would make your content appear more current and help you keep up with the latest trends better, instead of coming off as outdated.
Following that train of thought, you may also consider leaving some dates open on your calendar, so that you can create posts based on whatever is trending on your content niche on that day. Trends come and go at lightning speed on social media, so having the flexibility to adapt your content to them as they come up would be a big win.
On the other hand, if you’re working with a brand on a sponsored post that you’ve both agreed will go live on a certain date, then being able to schedule it 75 days out may come in handy. It will have to be published on that date regardless, so why not set it and forget it?
Finally, when you’re deciding when to set up your post schedule, remember to factor in things like planned vacations and unplanned sick leave. If you know that you’re going to be gone for a few weeks for a trip or for some personal R&R later in the year, you may want to plan your posts far enough out to accommodate for the duration of your sabbatical.
The bottom line is that how far ahead you schedule your Instagram posts will depend on three things: the individual posts, trends in your content niche, and any days or weeks you plan to be away from the platform.
The good news is you can easily change your posting schedule whenever you want. You don’t have to feel permanently tied down to any one calendar, especially if it stops working for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Schedule Posts on Instagram For Free?
Yes, Instagram has a native scheduler that is available to business and creator accounts to use for free.
How Many Posts Can You Schedule Per Day on Instagram?
You can schedule up to 25 posts per day on Instagram.
How Far in Advance Can You Schedule Posts on Instagram?
You can schedule your Instagram posts up to 75 days in advance using the app.
Can You Schedule Reels and Stories?
You can schedule Reels on Instagram the same way you schedule regular posts. Currently, you can’t use the Instagram platform to schedule Stories, but you can use Meta Business Suite, which is also free.
Using Instagram to schedule your posts is a strategy that will help you publish content more consistently, which will in turn help you increase engagement and reach your account goals. Plus, you’ll feel less stressed knowing you have a plan for posts in case you fall sick or go on vacation. It’s an Instagram creator’s best tool to help them be creative, so don’t hesitate to leverage it!